Counter Terrorism Policing - Past, Present and Future

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A presentation by Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, Head of Specialist Operations, Metropolitan Police Service.

The Specialist Operations division includes Counter-Terrorism Command (SO15) whose overriding priority is to keep the public safe and to disrupt terrorist related activity in the United Kingdom and against UK interests overseas.

SO15 has a worldwide reputation for excellence and is regularly deployed internationally in the global fight against terrorism, to assist countries in their response and to build their local capacity and capability. It has over 1,790 police officers and 600 detectives working in 75 specialist units with the capability to respond proactively or reactively anywhere in the world.

In her presentation, Assistant Commissioner Dick discussed the evolution of counter-terrorism policing, current priorities and challenges as we look to the future.

Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick joined the Metropolitan Police in 1983, serving as a Constable, Sergeant and Inspector before transferring to Thames Valley Police. She returned to the Met as a Commander in 2001 and joined the Specialist Crime Directorate in 2003 where she was Commander in charge of Serious & Organised Crime and Trident. In February 2007 Cressida was promoted to Deputy Assistant Commissioner and moved to Specialist Operations in charge of protection and security in London. She was the Met's representative on the “PROTECT” strand of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy and in July 2009 became the first female Assistant Commissioner in the Met.

Cressida has extensive command experience in relation to security and counter-terrorism, undertaking command roles in the Met’s response to 9/11, and the 2005 and 2007 terrorist attacks in London. In July 2011, Cressida became Assistant Commissioner, Specialist Operations. Her responsibilities include Protection, Security and Counterterrorism/Domestic Extremism for London. Her role also includes being Chair of ACPO TAM with oversight for Terrorism and Allied Matters across the UK. In 2012, she assumed the role of National Director for Counter Terrorism Policing for the Olympics.

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